Victoria Chapter

Piling Rig Bearing Pressure and Design of Construction Working Platforms

Dr Stephen Buttling

Safety is the main concern of all of us involved in construction, where one fatality, or even one incident, is one too many. In recent years, incidents involving overturning of piling rigs and cranes on construction sites have led to an increased awareness of the importance of providing a stable working platform for construction plant. A similar situation in the UK led the Federation of Piling Specialists (FPS) to commission the BRE to prepare a report on the subject (issued as BRE 470 in 2004), and to prepare a spreadsheet to allow contractors to determine the appropriate bearing pressures. These were adopted by the Piling & Foundation Specialists Federation (PFSF) in 2007. Stephen has spent some time researching these methods and, as Chairman of the Technical Committee of the PFSF, is pushing for their adoption. He will explain the principles behind them and their use, and discuss these in relation to economical working platform design.

Stephen Buttling has been involved in piling for forty years, starting out in the UK with Cementation Piling & Foundations, and working through Hong Kong and Singapore to Thailand, in a range of roles and functions, but almost always involved with major projects. One of his last projects in Bangkok was the supervision of the installation of 27,000 piles, both bored and driven, in a 12 month period for the Second Bangkok International Airport. Arriving in Australia 4 years ago he has designed the piles for the recently opened Go- Between Bridge in Brisbane and, since April 2009, has been National Technical Manager of Piling Contractors.

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